Ashton Hams. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian.
Ashton Hams. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian.

South Fremantle produced a dominant first half to set up a stunning 43-point upset of arch rivals East Fremantle today.

The Bulldogs controlled play from the outset at the recently rebranded ATOM Stadium - formerly East Fremantle Oval - to run out convincing 16.12 (108) to 9.11 (65) winners.

Haiden Schloithe (23 possessions), Ashton Hams (34) and Tim Kelly (30) were amongst South's best, with key forward Ben Saunders (four goals) and Anthony Collica (three) benefitting from good work up the ground.

Ill-discipline and poor ball use hurt East Fremantle early as South piled on the pressure.

The Sharks conceded three off-the-ball free kicks in the first quarter, including one before the opening bounce and another that gifted Paul Mugambwa the first goal of the match.

Debutant Jarrod Pickett booted a classy goal from outside 50m with his first kick in league football and the Bulldogs quickly skipped away to a 25-point lead.

East didn't kick a goal until the 22-minute mark, when Rob Young dribbled home a shot from the pocket in front of the members' stand.

But South hit back moments later when Saunders converted with a powerful set shot from 55m to give his side a four-goal buffer at quarter-time.

East provided more fight in the second term, but couldn't prevent their opponents edging further ahead.

Tensions boiled over in the third quarter after Saunders kicked his fourth goal at the nine-minute mark.

Young took exception to Saunders' exuberant celebration and floored his opponent before being immediately set upon by five Bulldogs keen on retribution.

A melee ensued and South took full advantage of the resulting free kick, with Alistair Gillespie extending the margin to 50 points following a strong contested mark.

South cruised to victory from that point.

East are still in control of their finals destiny and look likely to finish in fourth spot, but will not have any major impact in September if they reproduce today's efforts.

Key forward Jack Perham (three goals), Tim Bristow (21 possessions) and defender Andrew Stephen were among the few strong contributors on a dark day for the Sharks.

They could have further issues, with midfielder Mark McGough likely to come under scrutiny for an off-the-ball incident involving Schloithe in the third quarter.

The result saw South claim the Uittenbroek-Ciccotosto Cup - named in honour of club stalwarts Bob Uittenbroek (East) and Brian Ciccotosto (South) - and marked the eighth consecutive Fremantle derby win for away teams.

The most recent win for a home team was way back in round seven, 2012.

Earlier in the day, East Fremantle's reserves hung onto second spot on the ladder with a comfortable 62-point win, while South Fremantle were thumping 85-point winners in the colts.


SCOREBOARD

EAST FREMANTLE1.34.5 6.89.11(65)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 5.3 9.614.816.12 (108)
GOALS – EAST FREMANTLE: Perham 3; Lester-Smith, Young 2; Henson; Stephen SOUTH FREMANTLE: Saunders 4; Collica 3; Sokol, J Pickett 2; Schloithe, Sellar, Martinez, Mugambwa, Gillespie.

BEST – EAST FREMANTLE: Stephen, T Bristow, Dodd, R O'Brien, B O'Brien, Perham.SOUTH FREMANTLE: Schloithe, Kelly, Hams, Bairstow, Saunders, Martinez, Collica.
INJURIES: - EAST FREMANTLE: T Bristow (right leg).
REPORTS: Nil.
UMPIRES: J Mann, A Martin, S McPhee.
CROWD: 2200 (approx) at ATOM Stadium (East Fremantle Oval)

The West Australian

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